There are still 300 million cases of malaria each year around the world. The disease remains a significant global health threat. There is no better solution than prevention. Two students from Burundi and Burkina Faso, Moctar Dembélé and Gérard Niyondiko, have developed an innovative mosquito repellant solution, the Faso Soap.
Feb 1, 2014 – Burkina Faso. The special formula is added to locally manufactured soap and to provide a very accessible, low-cost anti-malaria tool. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is a leading cause of death, many families living on only a few dollars a day are unable to afford conventional mosquito repellants and anti-malaria drugs, and they don’t get used to mosquito nets. But using soap belongs to the everyday routine all over the continent. Considering all this, Faso Soap could prove an important innovation in the ongoing fight against malaria. The idea is just as simple as it is ingenious.
“We wanted a simple solution, because every one uses soaps, even in the very poor communities”,
Moktar Dembélé, General Manager of Faso Soap said.
The soap is enriched with a special secret mixture of local herbs and leaves a scent that repels mosquitoes on the skin. In addition waste water products from the soap contain substances that prevent the development of mosquito larvae. This is important, since poor sanitation is one of the main factors in the spread of malaria.
Dembélé and Niyondiko have lately been awarded the US$25,000 Grand Prize in the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) in recognition of the potential for Faso Soap to make a significant impact in the fight against malaria.
They young inventors and their project also won an additional US$1,500 as recipients of the People’s Choice Award.
The GSVC is a global competition launched by Berkeley MBA students, to support entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into businesses with a social impact. Faso Soap is the first non-American team to win GSVC. With support from their local Engineering School, the 2iE in Burkins Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, Dembélé and Niyondiko are in the process of launching their own business with a social impact.
The future of Faso Soap looks very promising, for their inventors as well as for the beneficiaries.